UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis | Health And Wealth | National Health Policy | Health Expenditure | National Health Accounts | 16th September,2022

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What the article is about:

  • The article talks about about the set of data on health expenditure  (National Health Accounts).

Relevance:

  • Paper 1: Essay.
  • GS2: Issues relating to development and management of Social sectors/ services relating to health.

Analysis:

  • One of the important findings of National Health Accounts expenditure is that government spending as a proportion of GDP went down to 1.28% from 1.35% in the previous year.

Expenditure of healthcare in India:

  • Last year’s economic survey noted that India ranks amongst the bottom 10 countries in terms of the prioritisation given to health in government budget- both at states and centre.
  • The government, moreover, has been consistently falling short of the National Health Policy’s objective of spending 2.5% of GDP on health- It currently spends about 1.9% of GDP.

Burden on people’s pockets:

  • People paying for healthcare expenses out of pocket (OOPE), for instance, made up 48.2% of the total health expenditure in 2018-19, down from 48.8% the previous year.
  • People spent more than government on healthcare- RS 2.87 lakh crore or 1.52 percent of the GDP.
  • The NHA data shows that India has a long way to go to attain the WHO yardstick of keeping out-of-pocket health expenditure to 15-20 percent of the Country’s GDP.

The skew:

  • 90% of the country’s hospitals, for instance, are privately run, and close to 70% of them are in urban area.
  • NITI aayog report revealed that about 30% of the country’s population does not have financial protection for health.
  • The Ayushman Bharat Programme covers 50% and another 20% opt for private insurance schemes.
  • The “missing middle” is the segment that isn’t eligible for government subsidies but also not rich enough to afford private schemes.

Way ahead:

  • National health Account figures should be correlated with other data for meaningful policy interventions.



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